Italian govt unveils project to restore Colosseum floor

Published May 3, 2021
In this April 26, 2021 file photo, few visitors arrive for their tour of the ancient Colosseum, in Rome. — AP
In this April 26, 2021 file photo, few visitors arrive for their tour of the ancient Colosseum, in Rome. — AP

ROME: The Italian minister of culture announced the winning bid to restore the Colosseum’s arena on Sunday, a project that will allow visitors to view the archeological wonder from ground level as soon as 2023.

The 2,000 year old structure is currently floorless, the ruins of the underground levels’ walls and tunnels exposed to the open air save for a small platform.

A Milan engineering firm beat 10 competitors who answered a 2020 call for submissions with its vision involving rotating wooden slats that would allow natural ventilation and lighting of the lower levels.

“It’s another step forward towards rebuilding the arena, an ambitious project that will aid the conservation of the archeological structures while getting back to the original image of the Colosseum and its quality as a complex scenographic machine,” said culture minister Dario Franceschini.

With the new floor, visitors to the Colosseum will be able to admire the treasured monument from the centre of the arena — a view once reserved for gladiators and slaves as they prepared to meet their doom.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021

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